Q&A with Chattco’s Preston Steen, Class A state wrestling champion

March 7, 2012 

When did you begin wrestling?

I started wrestling in my freshman year. This year would make three years because we didn’t have a wrestling program last year. My first two matches I won by pins. That started it off.

How much work ethic did it take to make you as good a wrestler as you were this year? Being a senior, I wanted to try to be the leader and show everyone else that what the coaches were doing, because they were new, would pay off.

How did not wrestling for a season affect you? I could have learned more moves and been in better shape. I could’ve had more experience as a wrestler.

How much have you improved as a wrestler from your sophomore year to this year? I’ve grown tremendously. My sophomore year I had more losses and I didn’t know as many moves. My technique wasn’t that great. I wasn’t much of an offensive wrestler but more of a defensive wrestler. This year, I attacked and set the match at the pace I wanted.

What were your expectations going into the season? I just wanted to wrestle hard in every match. I was just looking to place at state. I wasn’t thinking about winning because I knew we had a two-time champion in our weight class and I had to wrestle him in the semifinals, so I was looking at third.

How did you beat him? I just kept attacking. I didn’t let up on my pace and I wrestled my match. I didn’t let him attack me. I just stayed calm and patient and focused.

How did it feel to set a school record in wins this year at 53-8? I didn’t even know what the school record was. When I found out I broke it, it felt pretty good.

What were you thinking going into the championship match? Once I beat him, if I beat the two-time defending state champion, then I can beat anybody else in our weight class. That gave me the momentum and set my confidence really high.

Describe how you won the match. I was attacking and he was trying to stall as long as he could because he couldn’t go toe-to-toe with me. He got one point for an escape, and I was down 1-0 with 8 seconds to go. Eventually I got one point for his stalling and took it into overtime. I put him on his back in overtime and won 5-1.

How were you able to deal with fatigue? It came down to conditioning. We have great conditioning and work really hard at practice. When it’s crunch time, you’ve really got to dig down deep.

Where do you think your strength lies as a wrestler? On my feet. I’m really good on my feet. I feel like I can wrestle anybody on my feet.

When you won the championship match, how did you feel? I feel really good I did win it. I can’t believe wrestling is over, but it feels really good.

What’s the next step for you? I’m going to go to college for wrestling and major in zoology. I’m probably going to Darton for two years and then somewhere else after that. I’m probably going to end up coaching wrestling. I love the sport and love trying to help people.

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